The Japanese Familiarization and Short Term (FAST) Course is one of a series of similar foreign language courses produced at the Foreign Service Institute that are intended to train U. S. Government personnel assigned to overseas posts. The objective of the FAST Courses is to help students acquire the communication skills necessary to deal with the most common social and daily life situations they will encounter during their overseas assignments. Language forms adequate to satisfy personal needs, "how-to" information, and cultural highlights are presented in a format that will encourage students to tryout and use with confidence the language skills they have developed.
The Japanese FAST Course was designed as a six-week introductory course for employees and dependents with imminent assignments to Japan who are unable to take the regular 44-week Japanese Basic Course. It should be noted that the FAST Course does not attempt to present a systematic, comprehensive introduction to Japanese grammar; instead, bits and pieces of the grammar are practiced and explained as they appear naturally in the dialogs. In view of the emphasis on the immediately practical and the amount of time available, all linguistic explanations have been greatly simplified.